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13 A Referral Example from Southwest Airlines

I’m a big Southwest Airlines fan and customer enough to get all of their promotional materials, so I was pleased to see this fine referral offer example hit my mailbox. (I currently have 49 drink tickets too – should I drink more of fly less?)

I’ve written extensively about the need to create referral offers that get people into the game playing motivation. These offers are often most effective with people inclined to refer anyway, but the right message can get them very motivated.

The offer from Southwest is one of the classic approaches that I cover in The Referral Engine.


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The offer is highly personalized and gives me a set of tools that can help me earn a free flight if I introduce four friends to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa. I’m not so sure that offer is that great, but what I loved is the four referral cards attached that make it super easy for me to put something in a friend’s hand.


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One of the keys to generating more referrals is to make it easy to refer you. By creating mailings like this that can be sent out quarterly if you like, you can keep your referral campaigns top of mind. When you create a set of rules and a game message (get a 100% refund, earn a free flight, get a carpenter for a day), and them equip your referral sources with the tools to win the game, watch out!

15 Is Personality a Strategy?

hi hat coffeeWhen I originally started this post the title was going to be – Is Culture a Strategy, but I amended it to personality because, while what I am talking about here is commonly referred to as company culture, I think the word personality is more fitting for the typical small business.

Most small businesses I encounter, have a culture that is representative of the thoughts, values, leanings and character of the owner of the business – for good or for bad. Now, can that personality or company culture be molded, grown, morphed and adapted by the customers, practices, and people in the organization? – you bet.

And I’d like to suggest that a great deal of an organization’s ultimate success or failure from a marketing standpoint has to do with developing a culture or personality that people come to know, like and trust. Let’s face it there are characteristic traits that make some people more knowable, likeable, and trustable than others.

Unfortunately, you can’t fake these, but you can adopt habits that create a culture that brings out the best in your company’s personality.

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